Maybe it’s relocating, becoming a parent for the first time, losing your job, or a loved one. Maybe it’s nothing you can put your finger on. The point is sometimes “stuff” hits the fan and you really need some psychological help to cope. It’s funny how most people find it obvious when they must see a dentist for a root canal. Yet many individuals are ready to put themselves through hell before acknowledging that even if it is intangible, if their state of mind is suffering, they need to tend to it “just the same” as a broken tooth.
But not everyone is like that: some people may have every intention to get some support, but they get paralyzed because they either don’t know where to find a specialist or they worry about the language barrier. A good starting point would be talking to your GP (Hausartzt) about your struggles. Not only because he/she will surely point you in the right direction, but because a referral from them, will mean that your insurance, basic or supplementary will cover for some of the sessions. Make sure to check how many appointments you are entitled to, the maximum honorary they are willing to cover, and the type of therapist they will approve of. The way the system work, you will first be sent to a psychiatrist who may or may not instruct you to follow your treatment with a psychologist instead.
Should you decide to go the private route, you would have to pay the full cost out of your own pocket. The Association of psychiatrists of Kanton Luzern and the Society of Psychotherapists of Central Switzerland are very useful to find the most suitable professional for you based on language, method, location, etc.
If however, things get out of hand and you feel like you can’t wait until the next available appointment, know that you that you have somewhere to go: both the Luzern Kanton Spital and Permanence center offer year round emergency service. A hotline is also available.
English speaking help is available here, psychologist Dr Brandi Eijsermans Optimal Wellness Global, specialist in people outside of their country of origin. there is music therapist Maria Samara who speaks fluent English and also the Zwitscher Bar is downtown and you can drop by and speak to someone in English.
No matter how desperate, how lonely, how different or how crazy you think you are, just remember that you are not alone. In fact most people will experience such feelings at some point of their lives. Because hey, life can be tough enough. Or as Augusten Burroughs so eloquently put it in Running with Scissors, A memoir: “The line between normal and crazy seemed impossibly thin. A person would have to be an expert tightrope walker in order not to fall”.